Your Gifts at Work: July-September 2023
October 17, 2023
Gathering Stories of Hope Around the World
In August, several ALM staff from the U.S. and U.K. traveled to DR Congo and Ghana to visit our partners and projects. We met doctors, pastors, volunteers and people affected by neglected diseases–all touched by your partnership with us!
We’ll be sharing more of these stories with you in the coming months, but in our first blog post we wanted to tell you about a remarkable answer to our prayers: a field test to diagnose Buruli ulcer in under an hour!
Thank you for your commitment to our team and to our partners. We’re amazed by what God is doing through your support!
Our team with staff at Agogo Hospital in Ghana!
Trainings to Serve Communities in India and Nepal
For the past several years, our women-led Jagruti projects have been using a smartphone application – COMPREHENSIV – to record information about leprosy and lymphatic filariasis cases as well as a household’s water and sanitation needs. We can share this information with local health systems and governments so that people affected receive the support and resources they need. Since we began using this tool in 2019, we’ve collected information for over half a million people!
The women who join our Jagruti projects as community health workers (CHWs) are often illiterate; some have never used a smart phone! COMPREHENSIV uses icons instead of words so that it’s easy to learn and the CHWs are confident using it in the field.
In August, our partner and creator of COMPREHENSIV, Dr. Munuswamy from HI Rapid Labs, visited our our projects in India and Nepal for trainings on a new version of the software. The community workers were able to practice with the new app, ask questions, and practice using the new features. We’re grateful for dedicated partners like Dr. Munuswamy, LEPRA (India), Nepal Leprosy Trust and Nepal Leprosy Fellowship and the incredible change we are witnessing together!
Dr. Munuswamy (khaki shirt) demonstrates field tests with the COMPREHENSIV app and answers questions for CHWs and partner staff in Bihar, India and in Nepal. Even if CHWs are illiterate, the graphics in the app make it easy for them to understand and use accurately!
News from WASH + NTDs Jagruti Projects
From our Jagruti project in Bihar, India we’re thrilled to report that 95% of the 63,630 households now have piped water in the area where we work ! Since the start of the project, garbage management has been adopted by 19 of the 31 village governments, benefitting 24,212 households.
To date, we’ve reached 85 schools and 2,984 students with information and programs related to clean water, sanitation and NTDs–so close to our goal of 100 schools! In our business pilot program, the 20 small business owners received another $120 grant and have a refresher training coming soon.
This graphic shows our numbers from this quarter that are part of these overall results:
Jim Oehrig, ALM’s VP of Integral Mission and Partner Engagement, visited the NTD clinic and Jagruti Bihar staff in February 2023.
Our Jagruti project in Nepal is celebrating victories as well!
After months of advocacy from our community health workers (CHWs) and local women’s groups, the local authorities installed safe drinking water pumps and stations in 15 locations, including a Dalit “untouchable” community and other needy areas. Thanks to these new installations, 350 people have clean water!
The CHWs made 130 home visits to people affected by leprosy and lymphatic filariasis to assess their health and review self-care practices that give them greater mobility, comfort, and flexibility. They also meet regularly with community groups and officials to discuss needed changes in sanitation infrastructure and then advocate for those changes (like the water stations!).
Thank you for your faithful support of these projects. Your gifts affirm that God loves and values the communities where we work, channeling Christ’s love to those that the world leaves behind.
Top left and right: CHWs meeting with local community groups. Bottom left: a home visit. Bottom right: the water pump installed in the Dalit community.
$40,000 to Combat Neglected Diseases
In September, ALM staff from five countries attended the NTD NGO Network conference in Tanzania. It was a wonderful time of learning and sharing with each other and other organizations.
At the end of the conference, we awarded our fifth annual NTD Innovation Prize of $40,000 to a project that will help communities track neglected diseases spread by snails. Projects and research like this make a powerful difference for people affected!
ALM team members at the NNN Conference, along with our partner, Dr. Suresh Munuswamy (far right). He’s the COMPREHENSIV app developer who visited our Jagruti projects!